These 5 Behavior Changes Could Be Early Signs Of Alzheimer’s

Older African American man looking out windowCertain behavior changes may be a harbinger of Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers say they’ve developed a symptom “checklist” that might aid earlier diagnosis.

Experts have long focused on so-called mild cognitive impairment as an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease. That refers to problems with memory and thinking that may or may not progress to full-blown dementia.

But now some researchers are zeroing in on a new concept they call “mild behavioral impairment.”

The term is meant to describe persistent changes in an older person’s normal behavior. The changes include problems like social withdrawal, angry outbursts, anxiety and obsessiveness.

“We’re not talking about a blip in someone’s behavior,” said Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, in Canada. “It’s a sustained change from their former ways of functioning.”